Apple Mac mini 2023 M2: Mini PC review

With the Mac mini, the name says it all: a full-fledged computer in a mini case. In 2023, Apple’s smallest PC will get a complete overhaul. The most important novelty are fresh processors from the M2 series. The smallest configuration of the Mac mini was used for the test. From around 700 euros, there is a lot of speed to work with here. What else? That’s what the test says!

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M2 with even more speed

the Apple Mac mini 2023 M2 is a really fast PC dwarf that easily gets a very good speed mark with Office programs. The Mac mini is almost bored with this and is even a bit faster than the Mac Studio with M1 Max. The new Mac mini 2023 M2 is clearly ahead of the predecessor Mac mini 2020 M1. The speed of performance-hungry software for photo and video editing, such as Adobe Photoshop CC, has also increased. Here the difference to the predecessor is slightly smaller than in Office. However, this is not due to the new processor, but rather to the rather tightly dimensioned working memory. The entry-level model comes with 8 gigabytes of memory, more RAM is only available for a surcharge. If you work a lot with memory-guzzling software, you should plan an extra budget or use the Mac Studio – it comes with at least 32 gigabytes of RAM and is faster than the Mac mini 2023 M2 with photo and video software.
Apple Mac mini 2023 M2

Chic but not exactly cheap desk: The Apple Mac mini 2023 M2 with the Studio Display and input devices from Apple (keyboard, mouse, touchpad).

It’s slowly becoming playable

Typical for the Mac mini: The 2023 model also comes without an extra graphics chip. With the new Macs with M1 or M2 processors, however, this is no longer a major disadvantage, because Apple builds powerful graphics units into the processors. The Mac mini 2023 M2 has a graphics unit with ten graphics cores – two more than before. This makes the Mac mini slowly but surely suitable for gaming: With 1920×1080 pixels (for Full HD monitors), the 2023 M2 calculated 48 frames per second in the test. That should be fast enough for most casual gamers, professional gamers usually rely on a gaming PC or a gaming laptop with Windows anyway.
Apple Mac mini 2023 M2

The connections of the Apple Mac mini 2023 M2 are on the back: power supply, network, two USB-C, HDMI, two USB-A and the socket for headset or headphones.

The Intel era is finally over

When Apple introduced the first Macs with M1 processors at the end of 2020, only part of the software was adapted to the new technology. It looks different now: In addition to Apple, most other software manufacturers have also changed their software. Not only giants like Adobe or Microsoft, but also smaller software companies like Affinity or Skylum. The programs then run noticeably faster than older software that was developed for Intel chips and the use of the auxiliary program rosetta 2which translates between Intel software and M processor, is only rarely necessary.

Apple Mac mini 2023 M2

Well shielded: Users should not get at the electronics of the Apple Mac mini 2023 M2. It’s not worth unscrewing since the Mac mini doesn’t offer any upgrade options.

Pretty small and super quiet

Top: Despite the very high performance, the fan in the Mac mini 2023 M2 remains whisper-quiet (0.1 sons) – even under full load. This is made possible by the low power consumption of the Mac mini: It’s coming in normal operation with 16 watts off, under full load 44 watts are enough. Why install a fan at all when the MacBook Air 2022 M2 and its predecessor MacBook Air 2020 M1 can do without? The processor in the Mac mini can run at full load for longer, while a MacBook Air slows down the clock frequency slightly after longer periods of full throttle to reduce power consumption and prevent the processor from overheating. This is noticeable, for example, when importing a few thousand photos into a Lightroom library or when converting a longer video file.

Pace with Office programs

Video editing speed

Game speed (Full HD / 4K) in frames per second

USB tempo from external SSD to Mac / Mac to external SSD

RAM (built-in / expandable)

Memory: usable size, type

Free expansion options

Connections (front / rear)

Operating noise ( video / games)

Power consumption: Office / full load / costs per year

Quality of the keyboard/keyboard lighting/standard layout/Navigation keys standard size/biometric unlocking/connection

Quality of mouse/scrolling/additional buttons/connector

slightly low (48) / very low (18)

very high (711.1 / 544.7 MB per sec.)

8 GB permanently installed / not possible

239 gigabytes, SSD (M.2 PCIe)

None / 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type A, 2 x USB 4 Type C (with DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 4), 1 x HDMI, 1 x network, 1 x headset

Wifi 6e (ax) / Version 5.3

very quiet (0.1 sone) / very quiet (0.1 sone)

15.93 watts / 44.25 watts / 31.62 KW/h (10.43 €)

very pleasant, slightly less travel / no / yes / yes / yes / Bluetooth

a bit flat, unusable when charging/via gestures/via gestures/bluetooth

Nothing with retrofitting

Meanwhile standard at Apple: The main memory (as has long been the case with MacBooks) and the SSD of the Mac mini 2023 M2 firmly soldered. Subsequent upgrading is not possible. In case of doubt, you should rather choose the equipment a little more generously when buying, especially the working memory. If the space on the (very small) SSD with 239 gigabytes If you run out of usable memory later on, it’s not that bad. The Mac mini comes with four fast USB sockets, two USB-C 4 with Thunderbolt 4 and DisplayPort (monitors with USB-C fit) and two USB-A 3.2. There is always a socket for a fast external SSD with USB connection. The 2023 Mac mini also continues another “tradition”: keyboard and mouse (or touchpad) are only available for an extra charge.
  • Very high work pace
  • Very quiet
  • Very small SSD
  • Keyboard and mouse only at extra cost

Test conclusion Apple Mac mini 2023 M2

Small box, lots of speed – for most Mac users, even the smallest Mac mini 2023 M2 (test grade 2.6, tested model MMFJ3D/A) is fast enough. It makes older Macs with Intel chips look pretty old. Why is it still only enough for a satisfactory grade? This is due to the sparse equipment, such as the very small SSD. And yes, even in 2023 there will only be a keyboard and mouse for a surcharge.

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